Looking for ways to reduce health insurance and health care costs is at the top of everyones list these days. Who would not want to pay less money for the same health care, or better? Here are ten ways to reduce health insurance premium costs.
Quit smoking or using nicotine of any kind as Smoking and chewing tobacco drives up insurance costs because there are associated health risks. When you quit your usage of nicotine products, you will not only feel better, but you will see your health insurance costs drop drastically.
Lose weight - Obesity is an ever-increasing concern with health insurance companies. Obesity can lead to health problems such as high cholesterol and diabetes, as well as back, hip, and knee problems. Many health insurance companies offer discounts if you are participating in a fitness program on a regular basis.
Higher deductible - The obvious way to lower personal health insurance costs is to assume a higher deductible. This will take more of the burden off the insurance company, which will mean they can charge less for your premiums.
Higher co-pay - Along with taking a higher deductible, assuming a higher co-payment amount will reduce the premium the insurance company will charge for your benefits. Instead of paying $20 per visit, see if there is a plan for $30 per visit, or more. Look at your past experience with office calls to see if you could save over the life of the policy in premiums charged using a higher co-pay.
Keep diabetes in check - Having regular blood work done to check for diabetes is essential to save on insurance costs. Having these routine check-ups can also offer the added benefit of getting proper medical attention if something does happen to surface. Keeping diabetes in check by maintaining a proper diet and fitness program can also help lower your rate. If you can keep your diabetes in check without medication, the insurance company does not have to pay for supplies, which means lower premium costs to you.
Improve your credit score - Many insurance companies actually pull your FICO score in order to determine what your premiums will be. Improving your credit scores will show the insurance companies you are a good investment.
Open an FSA or HAS - These medical savings accounts are money pools you create by depositing before tax income. You can then withdraw funds from the account for medically necessary items. This can include anything from office calls to prescriptions to over-the-counter allergy medicines. This is a before taxes account, which saves you money right up front. These accounts give you a place to keep money, tax free, to pay for your deductible and co-payments, as well as medical and health related supplies.
Buy generic - Generic medications cost much less to produce and to distribute, and the savings are passed on to you. Also, some insurance policies no longer cover name brand drugs, so if you want the well-known label you will pay the extra cost right out of your pocket.
Use walk in clinics - Walk in health clinics, or retail clinics are popping up all over. You will find clinics in malls, drug stores and even in large retail outlets. These clinics offer simple services like vaccines, routine checkups and even blood work, all without an appointment. Check their rates and compare to your primary physicians office. You may be surprised what you can save.
Use urgent care clinics - Urgent care clinics are similar to an emergency room, but without much of the specialized equipment. These clinics are more suited to everyday emergencies, like issues requiring x-rays, bandages and stitches, but not for surgeries. Many times, these smaller clinics are much cheaper than going to a full fledged emergency room and have a lower co-payment because they bill as a clinic instead of an emergency care facility.
When you are looking for ways to cut health care costs, put these ten ideas to work. Trim your budget and continue to get the care you need!
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